Eras Journal – Bocchetti, C. Abstract

Abstract of Bocchetti, C. “Cultural Geography in Homer”.

The Catalogue of Ships has been studied mainly from an archaeological perspective, while the geography of theOdyssey has been studied focusing on the fantastical wanderings of Odysseus’ journeys. This paper aims to give a new perspective to the theme of geography in the Iliad and the Odyssey: an approach which is different from the ways in which it has been studied in Homeric scholarship.

Cultural geography states that the understanding of culture is constituted through space and as space. My purpose is to use the validation it gives to space, and to locate Homer’s Catalogue of Warriors within the modern discourses of spatiality. How can cultural geography be applied to Homer? And how can it contribute to classical scholarship?

Cultural geography is related to personal identity, landscape and one’s country of origin. The Catalogue of Warriors (Il.2.494-877) displays a geographical account in association with heroes’ countries of origin, and it is an example of the importance of geographical landmarks in constructing identity.

Landscape is an important area of study in modern cultural geography. The Catalogue constructs two main images of landscape: the Achaean Catalogue emphasises the rugged and mountainous aspect of Greece, and the Trojan Catalogue emphasises the river landscape of Western Anatolia. It will be demonstrated that the Catalogue of Warriors maps identities and is an expression of Panhellenism.